The nose knows


Wherever Richmond County Sheriff's Deputy Robbie Harrison goes, Selly follows.

The six-year-old Belgian Malinois is one of four narcotics dogs on the K-9 Task Force.

The seven-member unit covers 15 Georgia counties from Wilkes to Screven, and assists Aiken County when needed.

"That's one of the best parts of the job is we get to go out to other counties so you're not confined to one area," Deputy Harrison said.

Deputy Harrison has been around dogs all his life. He raises hunting dogs and his comfort level with man's best friend means he does more off-leash searching than other handlers. He says Selly works better without the constraints of a leash.

"It's nice to have a dog that you don't have to work. She's smart, she does her own thing."

It takes a skilled eye to watch Selly for signs that she's finding something.

"Her breathing changes, her mouth closes and she picks up pace," he said. "It's a fifty-fifty thing. She does her job, I do mine."

Selly can sniff out marijuana, crack, cocaine, heroin and meth. She is a passive response dog, meaning when she finds the source of a smell, she sits or lies down.

The pair have performed more than 800 searches in five years with about a 90 percent proficiency rate.

Every evening after work, Deputy Harrison and Selly head home to relax and play.

"For her, it's all play and she goes and goes. She never gets tired."

She even goes fishing with her master.

"She'll do anything. If there's a spot for her, she'll go."

For the Harrisons, she is just part of the family.

"She sleeps in my daughter's bed at night and she has jumped into the bath with her, too," he said.

Deputy Harrison says she's not only a good narcotics dog, but she's a good people dog, too.

"You never have to worry about how she's going to react to something."

When it comes time for Selly to retire after seven to eight years of service, Deputy Harrison says it will be difficult.

"It will be hard to fill her shoes," he said.

Wherever Richmond County Sher iff's Deputy Robbie Harrison goes, Selly follows.

The six-year-old Belgian Malinois is one of four narcotics dogs on the K-9 Task Force.

The seven-member unit covers 15 Georgia counties from Wilkes to Screven, and assists Aiken County when needed.

"That's one of the best parts of the job is we get to go out to other counties so you're not confined to one area," Deputy Harrison said.

Deputy Harrison has been around dogs all his life. He raises hunting dogs and his comfort level with man's best friend means he does more off-leash searching than other handlers . He says Selly works better without the constraints of a lea sh.

"It's nice to have a dog that you don't have to work. She's smart, she does her own thing."

It takes a skilled eye to watch Selly for signs that she's finding something.

"Her breathing changes, her mouth closes and she picks up pace," he said. "It's a fifty-fifty thing. She does her job, I do mine. "

Selly can sniff out marijuana, crack, cocaine, heroin and meth. She is a passive response dog, meaning when she finds the source of a smell, she sits or lies down.

The pair have performed more than 800 searches in five years with about a 90 percent proficiency rate.

Every evening after work, Deputy Harrison and Selly head home to relax and play.

"For her, it's all play and she goes and goes. She never gets tired."

She even goes fishing with her master.

"She'll do anything. If there's a spot for her, she'll go."

For the Harrisons, she is just part of the family.

"She sleeps in my daughter's bed at night and she has jumped into the bath with her, too," he said.

Deputy Harrison says she's not only a good narcotics dog, but she's a good people dog, too.

"You never have to worry about how she's going to react to something."

When it comes time for Selly to retire after seven to eight years of service, Deputy Harrison says it will be difficult.

"It will be hard to fill her shoes," he said.

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